Bob Carpenter Center, the 22,000-seat
Delaware Stadium for football and the
Fred Rust Ice Arena for hockey and figure skating.
In Sussex County, the sports commission in 2014 relaunched the Slam
Dunk to the Beach national high
school basketball tournament, the only
event the commission owns and operates. The annual three-day event in December features 20 teams, and the most
recent one drew 12,000 attendees to
Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes.
Because Sussex County sits on the
shore where Delaware Bay meets the
Atlantic Ocean, its breakwater and gentle waves make it popular for open-water swimming and skimboarding. The
town of Dewey Beach has hosted the
annual Zap Amateur World Championships of Skimboarding for 36 years,
and Lewes will host the third annual
Escape to Lewes Open Water Swim
Classic in September.
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is an upstate New York city
that’s closer to the Canadian border
than New York City and closer to the
Great Lakes than the Atlantic Ocean.
The city sits on the banks of Onondaga
Lake and just south of the larger Oneida Lake, both of which play major roles
in Syracuse’s sports landscape.
Although the city has a major con-
vention complex and sports facilities at
Syracuse University, “we are probably
better with our natural resources—our
trails and lakes—than with our man-
made facilities,” said Jeff Mickle, sports
development director for Visit Syracuse.
“People here get outdoors 365 days a
year. There’s no too cold, too wet, too
snowy—nothing slows us down.”
The annual Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
includes a swim in Jamesville Reservoir,
a 56-mile cycling course that cross-
es three counties and a running route
through Jamesville Beach County Park.
The Iron Girl Women’s Syracuse Triath-
lon takes place at Oneida Shores Park.
Bass-fishing tournaments at Oneida
Lake are as plentiful as the fish, and the
2017 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open
#1 was held there in July. B.A.S.S. has
held a dozen tournaments on the lake,
and Fishing League Worldwide often
chooses Oneida for competitions because it’s “one of the best bass-fishing
lakes in the country,” Mickle said.
At Onondaga Lake, the Syracuse
Chargers Rowing Club recently built a
five-bay boathouse and seven-lane racing course, and U.S. Rowing held its
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championship on the lake in
2015 and 2016.
Syracuse University is “always in
the mix” for NCAA events and regularly
hosts the first or second rounds of the
NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament,
Mickle said. On campus, the Carrier
Dome can seat more than 49,000 for
football and nearly 35,000 for basketball. Onondaga Community College is
also landing a lot of regional and state
high school championships, he said.
The Oncenter is a three-building
complex that stretches over three city
blocks in downtown. The complex includes the 99,000-square-foot Nicholas
J. Pirro Convention Center, the 7,000-
seat War Memorial Arena and the John
H. Mulroy Civic Center Theaters. For
the USBC Open Championships in
2018, “we’re turning the entire conven-
tion center into a high-end, full-ser-
vice bowling alley” with up to 60 lanes,
Mickle said, and the center will also be
the venue for the 2019 International
The Lakeview Amphitheater opened
on the shores of Onondaga Lake in
2015 and can seat up to 17,500. Just
south of the amphitheater, the 375-
acre New York State Fairgrounds is “a
very flexible facility” that welcomes a
range of sports competition, including
equestrian events and obstacle runs,
and is being looked at for snowmobile
and motocross races, Mickle said.
The Mid-Atlantic region is in high demand for sports events because it provides the best of both worlds: major
metropolitan cities with their ameni-ties and attractions butting up against
picturesque countryside and seashore.
The region draws travelers from all
over the East Coast, from across the
nation and from around the world,
in part because it’s easy to get to and
in part because people want to visit
the region’s famous cities and historic destinations. There, organizers can
choose from a plethora of venues for
sports events, indoors and out. n
> The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, can seat about 35,000 for basketball.